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Song Machine: Season One - Strange Timez
Release Date: 23 October 2020
The Universal Want
Release Date: 11 September 2020
Manchester indie band Doves return with their first album in 11 years - ‘The Universal Want’. Turning the page onto the next chapter of a three-decade career, it follows the Mercury-nominated albums, ‘Lost Souls’ (2000) and ‘The Last Broadcast’ (2002), their second, successive UK Number One album, ‘Some Cities’ (2005) and ‘Kingdom Of Rust’ (2009).
Dropping breadcrumbs in rare interviews since they announced their return in late 2018, Jimi Goodwin, Andy and Jez Williams have remained reluctant custodians of their barely-kept secret of a new album throughout 2019’s busy period of memorable festival and outdoor headline shows. Coming together to confirm themselves, once again, as an artistic unit for the first time since sessions ended on 2009’s ‘Kingdom Of Rust’, the Manchester trio hint that ‘The Universal Want’ has become an equally poignant and celebratory document of both time passed and time recouped. “It’s definitely got the stamp of ‘the time’ all over it,” says Williams, when asked as to what lies ahead for fans who have waited patiently for over a decade for another record. “Everything on the album is an echo. It’s an echo of what we were going through at the time. Getting back together, the Royal Albert Hall and everything else.”
Only the second track and first single proper to be revealed, “Prisoners” forces attention upon itself, not least with the poignancy of Goodwin’s repeated greeting to ‘old friends’, but as an unstoppable, driving tale of caution in a world of unending desire. Produced by Doves with Dan Austin and recorded at the band’s own Frank Bough Sound III studios in North West England, the high heat of its Northern Soul beat is fanned by wiry guitar breaks and cuts of ethereal noise contorting beneath layers of stacked vocals. “Prisoners” guides Doves’ second chapter to a peak now within touching distance, the lyrics contrasting to express unease with modern ills. Andy Williams says of the single: “It’s about continually chasing something and not being satisfied when you eventually get it. You’ve got ‘that thing’ and you find you’re not any happier. Be careful what you wish for.”
Tracklisting: Carousels / I Will Not Hide / Broken Eyes / For Tomorrow / Cathedrals Of The Mind / Prisoners / Cycle Of Hurt / Mother Silver Lake / Universal Want / Forest House
Twice In A Lifetime
Release Date: 11 September 2020
2020 album. Also available on Vinyl.
Roachford, whose most famous song “Cuddly Toy” has been a mainstay of radio airplay for over three decades now, is back with what is assuredly the best album of his career in ‘Twice in a Lifetime’. It’s the sound of someone at the top of their game, of one who knows his craft inside out. Produced by Grammy award winning Jimmy Hogarth, who has previously worked with Paolo Nutini, Duffy and Amy Winehouse, and featuring several members of Winehouse’s band, it’s full of grit and the most tremendous sonic energy, tracks like “Are You Satisfied?” throbbing with Stax-era musicality and soul. Lyrically, meanwhile, the album reveals an artist who has unambiguously Lived A Life.
Since "Cuddly Toy" reached number four in the charts back in early 1989 - Andrew Roachford has carved out a career for himself as one of the most compelling, and consistent, rock and soul artists the UK has produced. He has released 10 studio albums, several greatest hits collections, has been approached to write for various other artists including Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson and Joss Stone, and toured with contemporaries including Terence Trent D’Arby and The Christians. For the past nine years, he has been part of Mike + the Mechanics, recording with Mike Rutherford’s post-Genesis band, playing live with them across the world. He is someone who channels the energy of James Brown before going on stage each night, and who, on record, summons up the spirit of everyone from Al Green to Joe Cocker. When he sings, you listen.
Tracklisting: High On Love / Love Remedy / Too Much To Lose / Give It Up And Let Go / What We Had (with Beverley Knight) / Won’t Think Twice / So Long / Are you Satisfied? / The Truth Hurts Too Much / Gonna Be The One / Once In A Lifetime / Written In My Heart / You’re The One
Fleetwood Mac 1969 To 1974
Release Date: 04 September 2020
Live at the Roundhouse
Release Date: 18 September 2020
In 2018, guitarist with The Blockheads (Ian Dury’s backing band) convinced Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason to come out of performing retirement to form a new group dedicated to celebrating the early material from the Floyd’s illustrious catalogue. Joining them were later Pink Floyd bassist Guy Pratt, Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp and completing the line-up, keyboard man Dom Beken. The quintet made their debut at some low-key dates in the spring of 2018 and since then have performed a handful of tours around the world to a rapturous response.
The set-list for the dates throughout 2018 & 19 have been largely static but seeing Nick bash his kit to songs he hasn’t performed for nearly 50 years abetted by his band who exude sheer joy at breathing new life into these esteemed compositions has seen another surprising and pleasing chapter in the story of one the rock world’s biggest bands.
A total of seven songs by original leader Syd Barrett prove his bright but brief period of creativity garnered a crop of material that remains startingly original today. Meanwhile after he left, the band took several years to work out where to take their sound and although these songs are not as well known as the ones that populate albums such as ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’ they retain a vitality perhaps missing from the aforementioned classics.
This live album recorded at the Roundhouse, where Pink Floyd cut their teeth in 1966/67, is expected to only be the first recorded document from Nick’s new group. Let’s hope there will be more to come - Mason has hinted in interviews that there will be more to come from outfit - it definitely seems they are having more fun than the Floyd anyway!
Tracklisting: Beginnings / Interstellar Overdrive / Astronomy Domine / Lucifer Sam / Fearless / Obscured by Clouds / When You’re In / Remember A Day / Arnold Layne / Vegetable Man / If / Atom Heart Mother / The Nile Song / Green Is The Colour / Let There Be More Light / Childhood’s End / Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun / See Emily Play / Bike / One Of These Days / A Saucerful Of Secrets / Point Me At The Sky.
Goats Head Soup (2020)
Release Date: 04 September 2020
1973 album new stereo mix with 10 bonus tracks including 3 unheard outtakes: Scarlet, All The Rage, Criss Cross.
The Rolling Stones’ storied 1973 album ‘Goats Head Soup’ is reissued in multiple formats and millions of devotees will be thrilled by its brand new mix and extensive selection of unreleased studio and live material. ‘Goats Head Soup’ was the Stones’ 11th UK studio album and was recorded in Jamaica, Los Angeles and London with producer Jimmy Miller. Coming off the back of an amazing four album run (‘Beggars Banquet’, ‘Let It Bleed’, ‘Sticky Fingers’ and ‘Exile On Main Street’), ‘Goats Head Soup’ is unfairly seen as the beginning of a decline in the quality of their recorded output but this parade of releases documenting this period in the bands history should help to redress its legacy.
Featuring three previously unreleased tracks from the sessions along with alternate mixes, demos and instrumentals the bonus disc will have plenty to delight fans. “Scarlet” is described as being “as infectious and raunchy as anything the band cut in this hallowed era,” while “All The Rage” “has a wild, post-“Brown Sugar” strut.” The bonus disc of unreleased material also presents staples of ‘Goats Head Soup’ such as “100 Years Ago” and “Hide Your Love” in a new light, with further unissued mixes by revered producer and Stones insider Glyn Johns.
The box set editions will also include the 15-track live album ‘Brussels Affair’. This was captured at a show in Belgium during the autumn 1973 tour that came in the wake of the album’s late August appearance. This set, mixed by Bob Clearmountain, was previously only part of the Stones’ “official bootleg” series of live recordings in 2012. Highlights of Brussels Affair include memorable live versions of “Tumbling Dice”, “Midnight Rambler”, “Jumping Jack Flash” and songs from the then-new album such as “Star Star,” “Dancing With Mr. D,” “Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)” and the LP’s major hit single, the unforgettable “Angie.”
“Goats Head Soup was released with plenty of fanfare,” writes McCann. “Despite what you may read today, the kids weren’t entirely absorbed by glam rock, metal, prog and Philly soul back in 1973, and they bought the album in their thousands, sending it to No. 1 in the USA and in the UK, their fifth consecutive British chart-topper.”
Record One: Dancing With Mr D / 100 Years Ago / Coming Down Again / Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) / Angie / Silver Train / Hide Your Love / Winter / Can You Hear The Music / Star Star
Record Two: Scarlet / All The Rage / Criss Cross / 100 Years Ago (Piano Demo) / Dancing With Mr D (Instrumental) / Heartbreaker (Instrumental) / Hide Your Love (Alternative Mix) / Dancing With Mr D (Glyn Johns 1973 Mix) / Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) – (Glyn Johns 1973 Mix) / Silver Train (Glyn Johns 1973 Mix)
2 Tone - The Albums
Release Date: 04 September 2020
Bespoke boxset containing 8 original 2 Tone albums, with original artwork on mini LP-style sleeves and a 24 page booklet with sleeve notes by Jason Weir and Peter Walsh. THE SPECIALS Specials  / THE SELECTER Too Much Pressure  / THE SPECIALS More Specials  / VARIOUS Dance Craze * / RICO That Man Is Forward * / RICO Jama Rico * / VARIOUS This Are Two Tone * / THE SPECIAL AKA In The Studio . *First time on CD for a long time or ever.
Hailing from Coventry in the UK, the ska-revival group The Specials tore up the charts for a couple of years between 1979-81 with a string of singles and a couple of well received albums. But what made them stand out even more was that they had full artistic control with their own label: 2 Tone Records, despite the fact it was administered by Chrysalis Records. After the success of their first single "Gangsters", they quickly started signing other acts, providing a launching pad for Madness, The Beat and The Selecter.
When it came to albums however, only The Selecter and Cuban trombonist Rico Rodriguez had the opportunity record long-players. Alongside The Specials albums, a live collection and the first label 'best of' they are all collected here for the first time on CD. The live album 'Dance Craze' has never officially been on CD before and this vibrant set offers a taste of the scene.
The All Is One
Release Date: 28 August 2020
2020 album. Rock. Also available on CD.
Norweigan rock band Motorpsycho release their latest epic ‘The All Is One’ which finishes the so-called “Gullvåg trilogy”. However, ‘The All Is One’ is so much more than a sequel, and very much a standalone album in its own right. While the second part ‘The Crucible’ took the band a step further out than ‘The Tower’, the new one explores new frontiers, especially with the dark, brooding landscape of the 42-minute epic centerpiece that is “N.O.X.”, possibly the most ambitious piece of music they have recorded.
Eight shorter tracks, clocking in between two and ten minutes, make up the rest of the album and bring some balance to the proceedings. Lyrically, ‘The All Is One’ takes up the threads from the previous albums. While there is no thematic red line as such - and not being overtly political - it is difficult for a socially conscious writer like Bent Sæther not to observe and reflect on what goes on in an increasingly unstable world. They have also found strong inspiration and common ground in the paintings of Håkon Gullvåg, the artist responsible for the cover art.
Artistically searching as ever, and in their own way joyously stretching the rock format as out of whack as they can, Motorpsycho neither can nor will align themselves fully to any scene or genre. Travelling their own path in their own tempo, it might take longer to get anywhere, but that is just fine when the journey itself is the whole point. And what a journey it has been; this band is still peaking after more than 30 years in the business.
Tracklisting: The All Is One / The Same Old Rock (One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy) / The Magpie / Delution (The Reign Of Humbug) / N.O.X. I - Circles Around The Sun, pt 1 / N.O.X. II - Ouroboros (Strange Loop) / N.O.X. III – Ascension / N.O.X. IV - Night Of Pan / N.O.X. V - Circles Around The Sun, pt 2 / A Little Light / Dreams Of Fancy / The Dowser / Like Chrome
Release Date: 28 August 2020
2020 album. Also available on CD.
American alt-rock band PVRIS release their third studio album ‘Use Me’, and on the new record, frontwoman, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and producer Lynn Gunn steps into a new chapter, as she owns her role as PVRIS’ leader and sole architect. The result is 11 pop conjurations of glitchy beat-craft, airy guitars, and spell-binding vocals.
A newfound sense of freedom lies at the core of ‘Use Me’. For years, Lynn remained in the background too shy to take all of the credit for the vision of PVRIS and her role in the songwriting, presentation, much of the production, merch, and visual video concepts. At last, she is ready to shine a light on who she is and what she does. “I allowed myself to support a narrative I thought I had to support of PVRIS being a band,” says Lynn. “I didn’t really have a role model for this. Coming from a ‘band culture,’ it’s about how the group is always greater than the sum of its parts, and you’re not supposed to take credit, even if you do everything. There’s no template or role model for really owning it as a woman. I wanted to make everyone else happy and uphold an image I thought we had to.”
“Growing up, I learned I don’t have to do that anymore. I’m finally allowing myself to take credit. I’ve got the full support and encouragement of my bandmates. PVRIS is a unit and very much a team, but the heart and soul of the vision and music always has sourced from me. I’m just saying it now. I fulfilled my own vision of what a role model should be.”
Tracklisting: Gimme A Minute / Dead Weight / Stay Gold / Good To Be Alive / Death of Me / Hallucinations / Old Wounds / Loveless / January Rain / Use Me / Wish You Well